The New York State Department of Education recommends that schools in areas with high Covid-19 transmission cancel all high-risk sports like wrestling or basketball and extracurricular activities like choir and orchestra unless all participants are vaccinated, according to new health and safety guidelines.
The new guidelines for reopening schools come about a week after New York State Department of Health commissioner Dr Howard Zucker revealed the department would not issue health and safety guidelines for state schools that would reopen next month.
“As schools prepare to reopen and the rate of COVID positivity increases, we need to ensure that our schools and districts have the most recent resources and mitigation strategies available to keep our children safe. children and school staff, ”NYSED said. Commissioner Betty A. Rosa. “Reopening in the midst of a pandemic for the second year in a row is truly a daunting task. Our hope is that this guide, along with input from local health officials, will help the state’s education community prepare for September. “
NYSED’s health and safety guidelines on COVID-19 masking, social distancing, testing and screening are reiterations of current guidelines from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Encouraging schools to cancel or host high-risk sports and extracurricular activities online is one of the few instances where the State Department deviates from guidelines issued by the CDC.
The NYSED explains in the advice that the close contact between players in sports like wrestling and the increased exhalation that takes place during activities like choir pose a greater risk of spreading the virus.
According to current CDC recommendations, students, or anyone else, should not participate in close contact or indoor sports with people they do not live with when COVID-19 cases are “extremely high” and that hospitalizations and deaths from the virus are increasing across the country.
“If you choose to play close contact or indoor sports, reduce your risk by getting vaccinated when a vaccine is available, wearing a mask, playing outdoors, staying at least 6 feet from people. others and avoiding crowds, ”the guide reads.
This article first appeared on amNY.com
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